Monywa, Myanmar, 6 februari

On our way back from two fascinating temples close to Monywa (one a standing Buddha 22 floors high), we are discussing whether or not to drink our favorite drink; sugar cane juice (it is amazingly healthy, check it out)!
“The sugar cane is made using water that isn’t purified, are we still taking the risk or not?”  Both of us got really sick 2 days ago from something we ate or drank and we are still not better. We don’t know what food or drinks to trust anymore. But our love for this drink is too much! We take the risk and it is delicious again!

I am taking a short break in Monywa to recover from this serious ‘shitty’ problem, while Kiran cycles further on his own through Burma. We will meet again in a few days.
While spending time close to the toilet and taking several funny looking pills to calm my stomach, I will check how I can make the trip even more beautiful!

Cycling gives an amazing feeling of freedom. So much so that I keep on going and forget that sometimes I just need a moment to reflect on where I stand.

While cycling my thoughts go everywhere, inspired by what I see around me or by how damn hard it is to get up that hill!
Then after a long cycle, my brain can’t really think anymore and just wants a rest.  
But there is a thought in me that I like to do something more purposeful then cycling alone.
So time to set some goals!   

In the U Way Klo refugee camp in Burma I gave a lesson to 80 schoolkids about garbage, how it pollutes their world and influences their health.
It’s something I’ve been doing in several schools since we left the Netherlands and which was my profession when we were still at home.
In the countries we came across (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar) is a serious lack of knowledge about the effects of litter. I developed a lesson to teach the kids about litter, to find solutions together to clean their environment and to spread the word!
We saw the most amazing reactions from kids and in U Way Klo we cleaned up the stream that runs through their camp, picking up 9 enormous bags of litter!
I am planning to continue the lessons on a larger scale, contacting more schools. Let’s get this planet a bit cleaner!

A goal that we keep on saying to each other is that we will start doing exercises in the morning before cycling.
Now I can hear you think; why would you do that for?! Don’t you cycle enough already??
Basically, that is also what I seem to think every morning, cause I don’t get out of the bed. The thing is that when you cycle you only train certain muscles.
There seem to be no muscles left in my back to support me well. The result is that I really look like a Dutch ‘bag of potatoes’ nowadays. So this is my second goal: train in the morning!

I also really miss having some time for myself, something that I have to really work on when doing a trip like this together.
In the morning we are up early, after cycling I feel too tired and I also really like exploring this new world together when we arrive somewhere.
So when to plan this ME-time in?
Especially in Myanmar it is hard, since we never know how long it will take for us to find a place to sleep.
‘Tourist allowed’ hotels can be far away. A monastery is sometimes an option to sleep, but then you also wanna be social and talk to the monks.
I hope it will be a bit easier in India. Till then I will try some things out.
Starting by standing up early and grab my notebook to do some Non Violent Communication writing exercises (train to be a better listener to your own feelings and needs and those of others).

My last goal is all about Kiran and me. How do you stay attractive under all that sweat?
Even though cycling, a special diet against acid reflux and food poisoning make me as slim as i’ll ever be, you’ll understand that when you start to look like a bag of potatoes, too tired to use your brain and falling asleep at 8, this won’t do the trick anymore!

Kiran also had the same but worse ‘shitty’ problem as me, so after hearing each others toilet sounds for a few days, it’s time for a romance boost!
I have a few more days before I see him again. Even though I miss him now, I think it is good to be away from each others stink and I will be very happy to see him again.

I will upload some music and some podcasts and will go out conquering the world on my bike tomorrow. Of course after doing my exercises.
It feels like a new adventure, with all the new goals!

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